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Teacher’s assistant accused of spanking special needs student with wooden spoon

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SHELBY, N.C. — A teacher’s assistant in Shelby was arrested Wednesday after police say she assaulted a special needs student with a wooden spoon back in April.

Aleksandra Hoyle, 41, worked at North Shelby School until she was accused of spanking the student, according to WSOC.

North Shelby is a school for children with special needs.

Hoyle says she threatened the boy, who is between 10 and 11 years old, because he was acting out. She says she never touched him.

The school district investigated and accepted Hoyle’s resignation on April 1.

Hoyle plans to fight the assault charge against her and says she’ll continue to work with people with special needs.

She’s facing a misdemeanor charge for assault on a handicapped child.

Source: WSOC


  • sgjudy

    I will take this opportunity to educate about special needs children. My two children have severe autism and severe mental retardation. They would not understand the concept of someone hitting them as a form of correction. Special Needs children need boundaries and discipline like all other children but it needs to be according to their ability to understand. For example time out or removing my sons favorite electronic device for a set amount of time works for him.

  • Dan in NC

    I’m sure sgjudy is a great parent. However, a good whack is probably easier to understand than a time out. I agree with Ty.


    I think we are missing the point of the article. I am talking about severely disabled children who are prone to being abused. How can they tell the difference between someone abusing them and someone spanking them? Someone has to have the cognitive ability to understand why they are being disciplined.

    Some special needs children may laugh while being spanked, others may be traumatized by the incident. I don’t think people who work with special needs children should assault them in anyway. That is what Behavior Intervention Plans are for and there should have been one in place for this child.

    • Dan in NC

      SGJudy – I get your point. Nonetheless, “spanking with a wooden spoon” will not likely cause more than a very slight physical pain. I have no knowledge of this situation other than this article. The indication is that Aleksandra regularly works with individuals with special needs and I hope we have a certain trust (that we verify) of the professionals that we hire in our schools for the specific purpose of working with special needs individuals. It seemed to me like putting her in jail could have been an overreaction when a student may have needed exactly the correcting action she doled out.

  • GS

    Dan in NC – I will assume you are one of the ones who feels it is ok to beat a child whenever you feel the need to release YOUR frustration.
    I have never hit my children and they are fine adults today. You can parent without beating a child. It just takes more work and time on the parents part. Something I am sure you are not willing to do.

    • Dan in NC

      Dear GS, You are not too convincing with your personal attack with no knowledge of me, except that I don’t agree with your touch-free version of discipline. Did you watch the video I linked? Sometimes “time out” isn’t enough. Since your kids are adults, I’ll be you remember a time when bad people went to jail and you felt a whole lot safer than you do today. Rewards are a nice way to encourage good behavior, but there needs to be a corresponding system of punishment that provides a sufficient deterrent to prevent the bad behavior.

  • megs

    I agree with Dan. I was spanked as a child and I thank my mother and grandparents for doing so. I knew better then to do what half the kids do today to their parents. My children aren’t “beaten” but they do get their butts popped when they do not listen or are out of line. My children know how to speak to adults and no better then to back talk an adult. I see nothing wrong with spanking. If more kids would get them, the teen populas would not be like it is today. A bunch of disrespectful hooligans. No, I do not take out my frustrations on my children. I have a high functioning autistic child and honestly I think people make more excuses for not spanking or discipline these children then anything. My child knows right from wrong and he will play you in a heartbeat. Yes, I will pop his but when he decides to throw fits just to get his way. Call me whatever you want. These are my children and I will not have disrespectful engrates for teens or adults.

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